Sight and Sound - 11/01/2002
"...Truffaut's masterpiece remains one of the most exhilarating of the New Wave movies..."
New York Times - 06/01/2008 5 stars out of 5 -- "Truffaut's filmmaking still feels fresh, and as the film moves inexorably to a tragic conclusion, his sprightly handling doesn't dilute the heartrending drama. Still a masterpiece."
JULES AND JIM is François Truffaut's intense, beautiful, enigmatic film about the lifelong friendship between two writers--French novelist Jim (Henri Serre) and Austrian children's author Jules (Oskar Werner)--and their mutual love for the eccentric Catherine (Jeanne Moreau). With artful black-and-white imagery, the story begins in 1920s Paris when Jules and Jim first meet and become friends. As young single men, they gallavant about Paris, chasing women or studying ancient art, always animated, curious, and charming. When they meet the equally energetic Catherine, whose impulses range from dressing up as a man to taking midnight plunges into the Seine, their circle is complete. But when World War II erupts, with Jules and Jim fighting on opposite sides, everything changes. Jules marries Catherine before going off to battle. After the war, they settle into a quiet existence in the French countryside. But Catherine is restless and unfaithful. Jim reunites with his oldest and closest friends, and Catherine makes room for him in their house, asking him to move in and become her lover. Jim complies, as he wants nothing more than to please his friend Jules, who agrees to the plan. From there, the film's sweeping photography and wonderfully philosophical scripting tightens as the tale becomes even more complicated. Even its darkest moments, JULES AND JIM is movingly alluring as the friendship between the two men paints a meaningful portrait of human understanding and compassion. Like the similarly themed TWO ENGLISH GIRLS, Truffaut's film is based on a novel by Henri-Pierre Roché.
Director François Truffaut's JULES AND JIM features two men in love with a capricious, implusive woman. An atmospheric and energetic meditation on the nature of love and monogamy, the tale is breathtakingly told in classic New Wave cinema language.
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
Love Triangle |
New Wave (Film) |